Author: Michael Curtis
Publisher: Balfour Books
Publisher: Balfour Books
Endlessly, Israel has been subjected to continuous hostile attacks and scathing criticism that are directed by some members of the international community, Islamic extremists, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, human rights bodies, members of media, academics, as well as others that would like to delegitimize the State of Israel and see it disappear.
To respond to this relentless onslaught and demonizing of Israel, Michael Curtis, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of political science at Rutgers University in his Should Israel Exist? A Sovereign Nation Under Attack by the International Community has brilliantly defended Israel's right to exist and in addition furthers our understanding of the devious elements and tools at play here.
In building his case, Curtis elucidates how arguments are often based on myths, distortions, biased unfair narratives, linguistic sophistry, personal monetary gain, inaccurate facts, perversion of international law, and to some extent antisemitism. As Kenneth Bialkin in the Foreword to the book succinctly sums up: “Professor Curtis' thoroughly researched effort is a tour de force which refutes the legal, political and historical attacks on Israel's right to exist that have been launched by Israel's enemies and detractors. He also demonstrates that Israel is like an avatar, a defender of freedom and human rights in a world under attack from Islamic terror and extremism.”
It should also be noted that Curtis does not resort to generalizations, but rather supports his arguments with historical facts and concrete examples, not on propaganda or some personal self-interest that is quite obvious when we examine the countless nonsense that is spewed from time-to-time from politicians, present and former heads of state, international organizations, religious institutions and others that often are influenced by individuals attached to regimes that are led by autocratic rulers or members of military juntas who themselves lack any real legitimacy.
Beginning with a general introduction that gives us an overview of the contents of this brilliant tome, Curtis explores such topics as the obsession with Israel- a tiny nation surrounded by a very rough neighborhood. He then discusses the profound hypocrisy prevalent among international institutions as the United Nations and their many affiliates. This is followed by the dangerous use of lawfare and universal jurisdiction, the false charges of racism, apartheid, colonialism, occupation, discrimination. Other topics include the establishment of the State of Israel, the right of return, Palestine and the Mandate, issues of land ownership, nationality and citizenship that are examined in the context of the historic relationship and the right of Jewish self-determination, the importance of peoplehood, Israel, Jews and the Diaspora, the need for security and defense in the light of the surrounding hostile environment, and a Jewish democratic state.
Delving into each one of these topics, Curtis clearly shows that the battle waged against Israel is grossly unjust and as he states, “In view of these realities, people who are genuinely interested in promoting humanitarian concerns will be disconcerted to realize that in the battle waged against Israel the language of human rights, a cause in which they are interested, has been misused.” As Curtis maintains, the policies and actions of Israel are not the basic root cause of the Israeli-Arab conflict as many “intellectuals” would have us to believe, nor are they responsible for the instability and conflict in the Middle East. Furthermore, the Israeli policies are not responsible for the persistence of the Palestinian refugee problem, which, as pointed out, “is much more the result of the indifference of Arab states and of the operation of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), essentially running a welfare state for Palestinian camp refugees.” And, as Curtis asserts, “the existence and legitimacy of the state of Israel should be universally accepted on the basis of the historic relationship of the Jewish people and the land, whether defined as Palestine, the Holy Land, or Eretz Israel.”
Should Israel Exist? A Sovereign Nation Under Attack by the International Community is valuable on many levels, not the least of which is its ability to capture the misguided and biased onslaught against a democratic country that has every legitimate right to exist. Moreover, it provides a corrective in clearly presenting a non-biased and fair narrative that counters the inaccurate and politically motivated historical picture that is often presented by groups, institutions and individuals hostile to Israel. Bravo Prof Curtis for your blunt presentation!
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